Support for rail devolution

Published on Tuesday, 27 November 2012 11:16
Posted by Scott Buckler

Passengers and local communities could achieve better rail services and value for money for taxpayers if they have more say on how their railways are run, according to responses to a government consultation

The feedback published today also reveals widespread support for rail devolution. The consultation asked individuals, regional groups and interested organisations to give their views on how devolution might work and what the benefits were.

Rail Minister Simon Burns said:

We are determined to provide the best possible rail services for passengers and ensure that we reduce the cost of running our railways.

Ensuring decisions are taken by those best placed to make them – those who live and work in those areas – could make certain not only that services are planned to maximise value for money for taxpayers but that passengers get services they need and want.

The consultation also revealed enthusiastic expressions of interest in helping to manage the railways from regional groups in London, the West Midlands and the north of England.

Responses highlighted the success of regions where the operation of rail services has already been devolved, including:

Merseyside, where Merseytravel has been responsible for the management of rail services since 2003London, where Transport for London has been responsible for the operation of London Overground services since 2007Scotland and Wales, where the operation of regional services is managed by the Scottish government and the Welsh Assembly government

Responses also showed support for transport models specifically designed for particular regions on the basis of local geography and the structure of local networks.

Source: DFT

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